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Grecian foxglove (Digitalis lanata)

Grecian foxglove Common Names: Woolly foxglove

Description: Introduced to North America as an ornamental. Toxic to humans and wildlife due to the presence of cardiac glycosides.

Habit: Biennial or short-lived perennial that forms a rosette its first year, then bolts and sends up a single flowering stem in its second and subsequent years.

Leaves: Basal leaves grow up to 6 in. long and 2 in. across; lanceolate, oblanceolate or elliptic in shape and glabrous. Alternate leaves are lanceolate-oblong in shape, smooth along the margins, and sessile. Both sides are dull green and glabrous.

Stems: Flowering stems are unbranched and grow 2-5 ft. tall. Stalk is light green, yellowish green, or purple, terete, and glabrous. Sometimes covered with purple or brown dots.

Flowers: Creamy white to pale yellow with brownish-purple veins inside. Densely arranged and oriented in the same direction. 1.25-2 in. long and consists of a tubular corolla with 5 lobes, the bottom bering much larger (0.5-0.75 in. long). Exterior is finely pubescent.

Fruit and seeds: Flowers are replaced by ovoid seed capsules that are 0.50 in. long, green in color and hairy. Each capsule contains numerous seeds.

Habitat: Native to central and southern Europe. Can be found in abandoned homesteads, roadsides, railroads, weedy meadows, open woodlands, and areas near organic refuse dumps.

Reproduction: Reproduces only by seed.

Similar species: Purple foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) and Yellow foxglove (Digitalis lutea); can be easily distinguished by the color of their flowers.

Monitoring and rapid response: Hand pulling is not recommended due to exposure to toxins in plant. Repeated hand pulling, using protective gloves, in the spring can control very small populations. Frequent mowing during the growing season and the use of general use herbicides can be effective.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Illinois Wildflowers.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( Individual photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Grecian foxglove

Scientific Name:

Digitalis lanata







USDA Symbol: